‘Don’t make it another monstrosity’ – councillors warn Sunderland College bosses over new development

Sunderland College building in Redcar Road described by some councillors as a "monstrosity".
Sunderland College building in Redcar Road described by some councillors as a "monstrosity".
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COLLEGE bosses have been given the go ahead to build extra space for construction courses – but were warned: “Don’t make it a monstrosity.”

Sunderland College applied to build a new two-storey building at its Hylton Skills Campus site to provide more facilities for engineering, welding and plumbing students.

Anne Isherwood - Principal of Sunderland College

Anne Isherwood - Principal of Sunderland College

The new building will be on the western car park next to the Beechwood Building and will be open until 9pm to provide evening classes.

The ground floor will be for engineering, welding and fabrication teaching, while the first floor will host plumbing and electrical lessons.

A report recommended councillors approve the plans but the committee asked for reassurances about the appearance of the new building.

Many, including Coun Denny Wilson, claimed the college’s most recent new-build, completed in 2011 in Redcar Road, was a “monstrosity” and strongly criticised its all-black colour.

Planning officers confirmed the building will be predominantly silver and grey but admitted some sections were yet to be confirmed, with materials still to be sourced.

They also said the proposed use of the building for construction meant the scope for more innovative design was limited. We don’t have a problem with the materials,” said Coun Wilson. “Just as long as it isn’t black.”

Principal of Sunderland College Anne Isherwood said the new facilities will benefit both students and local employers.

“We are really pleased that the new engineering centre has been approved,” she said.

“It will have an extremely positive impact not only for young people keen to get ahead in engineering but also for the region’s employers who are concerned about the current skills shortage in this area.

“We look forward to developing our plans to ensure that we provide excellent facilities to complement the highest quality of teaching offered at the College.

“Our programme of improvements will provide students with the type of first-rate facilities they deserve.

“We take on board the comments made by the councillors with respect to the impact of our facilities on the local environment and will be widely consulting with our local communities.”